Democrat Simonds wins 94th District by 1 vote after recount, splitting Va. House of Delegates


UPDATE (Dec. 20): A three-judge panel will review a single ballot after the campaign of David Yancey challenged the vote. Yancey’s campaign believes one ballot was improperly counted toward Shelly Simonds’ total.


NEWPORT NEWS. Va. (WAVY)– A recount in District 94 looks like it will change the balance of power in the General Assembly.

On Tuesday morning, Republican incumbent David Yancey led by 10 votes over Democrat Shelly Simonds.

The Newport News Electoral Board started early. They brought in an electronic scanning machine to go through the more than 23,000 ballots. After each precinct was scanned, the machine sent out some irregular votes. Election officials looked over those votes with Republican and Democrat observers.

As the recount went through each precinct slowly the gap lessened between Yancey and Simonds. With one precinct left to count, the vote was a tie.

The final precinct totals pushed out one more vote in favor Simonds; unofficially, giving her the election.

“We are declaring victory, right now!” Simonds shouted outside the recount headquarters.

The one vote margin also changes the balance of power in the General Assembly. Republicans had held a 51-49 lead over Democrats in the House of Delegates. With Simonds’ win, it’s now an even 50-50.

“They’ve (Democrats) been so excited to get me up there and I’ve had to moderate their enthusiasm,” Simonds said.

Representatives from David Yancey’s campaign said that the Delegate spent the day in Richmond working on a General Assembly committee.

It’s an election no one will forget anytime soon, the time one vote made the difference.

A Republican delegate in Fairfax County held onto his seat following his district’s recount last week. Two more recounts are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

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